Retired barber Des Wilcox can sleep easy after proving himself a cut above to land his dream role as Britain’s first official Sleep Ambassador.
Now the pensioner will be paid to “sleep on the job” with a snooze salary of £100 per kip over a three-month period as he tests beds, pillows and duvets.
The 70-year-old Lancastrian beat hundreds of applicants to the new post with bed makers Sealy land the total package worth £2,500.
Mr Wilcox was selected from 506 applicants after the vacancy was launched back in January.
Renowned among his family and friends for his ability to fall asleep absolutely anywhere, he spends the majority of his free time gardening and enjoying the great outdoors.
The pioneering role, for an initial three-month period, will involve testing Sealy’s new range of beds, pillows and duvets for 2016, as well as trialling several “sleep experiences” including testing sleep-aids and snooze-enhancing diets and lifestyles.
Among the shortlisted applicants Mr Wilcox beat to the role were a working mum from Manchester, a sleep fanatic from Scotland, a hotel manager from West Yorkshire and a self-confessed ‘archetypal corpse sleeper” from Worcester.
Mr Wilcox said: “I cannot express how happy I am to have been named Sealy’s Sleep Ambassador.
“I am looking forward to getting started. I saw the advert in the paper and I just had to apply.
“I consider myself to be an expert sleeper and I’m also a good communicator, having spent 50 years working in my barbers shop.
“I have been an ambassador all my working life selling myself, so the switch from that role to promoting a first class product like Sealy – and I speak from experience – will be simple.
“I also love a challenge and am looking forward to fun of being involved in the project and making a good job of it.”
Neil Robinson, Sealy’s resident sleep expert, said: “The selection process was a tough one and we had a challenge shortlisting the applications, let alone selecting a candidate to appoint.
“Desmond stood out to us. He is clearly very experienced when it comes to sleep and he’s lucky enough not to have any problems with this – he can sleep anywhere after all.”
He added: “While undoubtedly it is a fun position, we do view this as an important job and Desmond will provide valuable feedback about our products, as well as debunking sleep myths. We wish him all the best in the role.”
By Stephen Beech